For the most part, the flower known as parsley is used as a seasoning or topping for another dish, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. In certain parts of the world, you might be eating more parsley than you think, which should come as fantastic news. Parsley packs a lot of nutrition in such a small amount of food, which brings health benefits that you probably didn’t know you were getting.
When eating raw parsley, the vitamins that you get from it will help your body for years to come. You don’t have to eat it straight from the garden, but you can put it on healthy foods such as fish, soups, steaks, rice or more to get a full balance of nutrition. You’ll be surprised to hear just how much is found in each serving of parsley. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown and the health benefits you’ll get from eating more parsley in your diet.
Nutrition of Parsley
Not many of us are eating a lot of raw parsley, but doing so every now and then can bring a lot of nutrition. In one ounce of parsley, there are very few carbohydrates (and protein), but about five percent of your daily fiber recommendation. Of all the vitamins found in parsley, the big one here is vitamin K. Just that one serving of parsley gives you nearly 600 percent of your daily recommendation. Add in half a day’s worth of vitamin A and two-thirds of vitamin C values, and you have yourself a nicely rounded nutritional food.
There are other vitamins in smaller doses in parsley, especially folate at 11 percent. As for the minerals, iron is the big one at 10 percent while others in lower amounts include calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc all checking it at around five percent. There’s no cholesterol in parsley and only 0.2 grams of sugar, all while giving you some needed phytosterols.
Blood Sugar Regulation
It’s estimated that more than 370 million people around the world suffer from the all too common disease of diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar is essential in not only preventing diabetes, but also managing your diabetes if you already have it. Studies over the past 15 years have showed that parsley can be helpful for those that are looking to control their blood sugar levels, thankfully.
These studies that were performed on rats showed that those that received parsley on a daily basis ended up with lower blood glucose levels over time. While there hasn’t been extensive research on humans regarding blood sugar level changes, researches concluded that it likely transfers over. Not only can you prevent diabetes, but you’ll also be avoiding a lot of serious health problems when you manage your blood sugar.
There are multiple reasons why parsley is one of the better things that you can eat for your overall bone health. For starters, parsley can help reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis, which happens when calcium starts to leave your bones. Another reason is that your body could have too much of an amino acid known as homocysteine. Thankfully, parsley has been found to be effective in eliminating homocysteine.
Parsley has plenty of vitamin K, beta-carotene and other nutrients that will help you to build stronger bones, especially at a young age when your bones are still growing. Even for the elderly bunch, more parsley in your diet can prevent problems that stem from rheumatoid arthritis. This is because parsley helps to eliminate uric acid, which is also what causes gout in your feet.
Parsley contains many of the essential nutrients that your body needs to help build a stronger immune system, including vitamin C. Most people know how well vitamin C helps your immune system, but ones that often get overlooked include vitamin A and folate. The antioxidants within parsley also reduce your chances of getting diseases that are both serious and minor (yet annoying) that range from the common cold to cancer.
People have been using parsley as an herb for many, many centuries because of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it contains. These antioxidants help your body to fight off free radicals that cause serious diseases down the road that include cancer. Certain studies have even showed that parsley oil can breakdown carcinogen levels in rats, which could be a pleasant sign for humans.
If you’re getting more antioxidants in your system, you’ll be lowering your chances of getting eye disease down the road by a large amount. Parsley contains these powerful antioxidants that lower chances of age-related eye diseases. Parsley contains certain antioxidants which protects parts of the eye that include your retinas and lenses.
Studies show that people who get more zeaxanthin and lutein in their diet from foods such as parsley cut their chances of cataracts by nearly 50 percent. Vitamin C and E are also linked to these lower diseases, which parsley happens to have in spades. Combining all of these elements is fantastic for eye health.
Vitamin K Packed
The most abundant vitamin that you can find within parsley is vitamin K, which your body needs to help prevent many different age-related problems, especially with the bones. Those that don’t get enough vitamin K are much more prone to suffer from bone problems that include osteoporosis and weakened bones overall.
Vitamin K also helps your blood stream to increase your cardiovascular health. Studies have also shown that this essential vitamin can help reduce your chances of cancer because of its ability to slow down the growth of tumors. While you shouldn’t mix vitamin K with actual blood thinner medication because of its properties, it does have a good effect for those that don’t have thin blood as it is.
Summing it Up
Now, it’s great to be adding more parsley to your diet, but you’ll want to watch just how much you’re taking in. Pregnant women should not be eating more parsley than what typically comes in most meals as a garnish. Parsley can also have an effect on your blood, so those that are diabetic or have anemia should avoid eating large amounts as it can lower blood sugar and blood cell levels.
Eating too much parsley can also cause your body to retain more fluids and sodium, which could cause some side effects. Finally, an excess of parsley can cause problems with the kidneys because of this retention. Some of those side effects might sound scary, but you’d have to chew on a lot of parsley on a daily basis to experience any of these problems. Adding the normal amount to your diet as a garnish for other foods is the perfect way to get some more nutrients that you wouldn’t otherwise get, so don’t be discouraged to add this wonderful herb!